Building for the future

As part of the FIFA Broadcast Legacy programme, 330 students have been working as interns throughout the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ for HBS (Host Broadcast Services), FIFA’s dedicated host broadcast company.

Last Wednesday, 22 of them made their way to the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane to receive certificates recognising the work they have performed at the tournament so far. The event was just one of the many such award ceremonies taking place in all the Host Cities, each of them a simple but heartfelt occasion that represents the end of a long yet rewarding process for the youngsters involved.

Following an arduous selection procedure at their respective universities, the youngsters each underwent personal interviews before being invited to take part in a workshop towards the end of last year, the final step before they received their job offers.

I have learned so many things working at the World Cup. It’s also opened up a whole host of job opportunities for me.
Student Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu

It was little wonder, then, that the recipients, aged between 20 and 25, were all smiles as they posed for photos with each other after receiving their certificates.

“This project shows that FIFA’s mission is to leave a legacy in South Africa, one that lasts long beyond the final whistle,” said Niclas Ericson, the Director of FIFA TV. “The interns have played an integral part in the World Cup and we hope that this experience will give them a solid base for their future careers in broadcasting.”

HBS CEO Francis Tellier commented that although such programmes are always implemented in the host country, South Africa 2010 represented a special case: “In view of the importance of skills development, the programme has been approved by the Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing and Packaging Sector Education Training Authority (MAPPP-SETA). As a result and in accordance with special guidelines, successful students receive educational credits, giving them an advantage when they apply for their next jobs.”

A unique opportunity
“It has been an incredible experience,” said Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu, a 21-year-old assistant to the Venue Manager in Polokwane, in an interview with FIFA.com. “I have learned so many things working at the World Cup. It’s been a great personal achievement because I know I can now go on and do anything. It’s also opened up a whole host of job opportunities for me.”

Two years his senior, his colleague Xalati Maluleke, an assistant to the Venue Broadcast Manager, was equally enthusiastic about the programme: “Up until the start of the World Cup we’d only studied theory, so it was fascinating for us to be able to put all that into practice. I feel I have a bright future ahead of me because I have gained a lot of experience in a big company like HBS.”

Working as a sound engineer, 22-year-old Jeffrey Shisinga has been able to discover a whole new career horizon thanks to the programme: “Thanks to this experience I’ve decided to study sports journalism, as there is a shortage of sports professionals here in South Africa. There are lots of people working in general areas and in research but not many in sport.”

For Refilwe Rapatu, who is working as a commentator’s assistant but is hoping to go on and study Civil Engineering, the programme has offered him benefits of a different kind. “It’s not directly related to broadcasting but as well as helping me broaden my skills, this experience is also going to be important for my CV.”

“It’s so exciting to see their faces,” enthused Tania Pellegrini, HBS Training Senior Manager. “It’s been a long road for them, one that began in 2008, and it’s still not over because they will be working right up to the end of the World Cup. I’ve had some excellent feedback from their supervisors and I am very proud of them.”

Attending the event on behalf of FIFA TV, Hidenori Arari had a final word of advice for the young interns: “I’d ask them to treasure this moment and to have confidence in themselves. All of them, including those who will forge careers outside broadcasting, have acquired values that will be fundamental to their futures. Now it is up to them to apply those values and make the most of them.”